Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will not say if any other Democrats sitting on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have had political or sexual relationships with foreign spies.
This week, reporting by Axios revealed that suspected Chinese spy Christine Fang cultivated deep connections with U.S. Democratic politicians in the Bay Area for years, including with California Rep. Eric Swalwell, to send political intelligence and personal information back to China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), one of the country’s primary spying agencies.
Fang reportedly developed a relationship with Swalwell, raising millions for Swalwell’s re-election in 2014 and assisting in placing at least one intern in his Washington, D.C. office before abruptly leaving the country in 2015, around the same time a counterintelligence investigation was opened on her.
The Federalist previously reported that in addition to bundling donors for the congressman, officials believe Fang may have been sexually and romantically involved with Swalwell.
The Federalist asked Pelosi if she knew how many other Democrat members of the House Intelligence Committee have had political, sexual, or relationships with spies for hostile foreign countries. Her office did not comment and instead pointed to her statement that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s questions about the influence Fang had on Swalwell, a sitting member on multiple intelligence committees, are simply a distraction from QAnon conspiracy theories.
“You know what he’s trying to do? He’s trying to deflect attention from the fact that he has QAnon in his delegation over there. And that I think is a danger in terms of our debate here about, you know, what the possibilities are for undue influence to Members of Congress,” she said at a Thursday press conference.
Pelosi explained that because Republican and Democrat leaders were briefed about the issue at the same time and Swalwell ended communication with Fang immediately, she “doesn’t have any concerns” about him.
When asked whether Congress would begin implementing rigorous background checks for interns, such as those placed in Democrat offices by Fang, the speaker said she doesn’t believe they are necessary.
“I think we should make sure that everybody knows what they are being subjected to, but I don’t know that it means that we have to do background checks for every intern who comes into the Capitol,” she said.
Swalwell previously refused to answer The Federalist’s questions about the extent of his relationship with Fang, ignoring allegations from sources directly familiar with the counterintelligence investigation of Fang who told The Federalist that she and Swalwell may have had a sexual relationship.
Instead, Swalwell, who was a leading proponent of the Russia hoax, implied on national television that the story of his connections with a Chinese spy was leaked as retaliation for his work on impeachment.
“The wrongdoing here, Jim, is that at the same time this story was being leaked out is the time I was working on impeachment on the House intelligence and judiciary committees,” Swalwell said in an interview on CNN on Wednesday.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff also did not respond to The Federalist’s questions about Swalwell’s position on the committee in light of the recent news.